MADURAI: An eminent senior advocate has to be a person who is remarkable in terms of intellectual and moral attainments in the profession and not just one who has a long standing at the Bar. This observation was made by Chief Justice of Madras High Court Amreshwar Pratap Sahi on Friday. The Madurai Bench, comprising the CJ and Justice Subramonium Prasad was dealing with a petition that sought declaration of the term ‘senior’ in Rule 4(5) of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, as null and void.
Disposing of the petition, the Chief Justice made recommendations with regard to appropriate guidelines to be followed by a district magistrate (Collector) while engaging ‘eminent’ senior advocates for trials under the said SC/ST Rules and directed the government to frame and execute such guidelines within a month. Justice Sahi said, “The words ‘eminent senior advocate’ in Rule 4(5) of the 1995 Rules, in our considered opinion, is not a synonym of the definition of a senior advocate as contained in the Advocates Act 1961. Even an advocate who is not a designated senior advocate under the 1961 Act can be considered ‘eminent’ if he has ample years of practice with expertise in the field of criminal law.”